A surge in coronavirus cases continued Saturday, with 416 new coronavirus cases. In a bid to halt the spread of the virus, police descended on tourist spots to catch Covid-19 rule breakers.
The Strategic Communication Group said 23 people succumbed to the virus in the past 24 hours and the total number of cases rose to 28,582.
Ahead of the weekend, Romanian authorities carried out spot checks and handed out about 1,200 fines worth 428,000 lei (89,000 euros), an interior ministry statement said.
There has been a steep increase this week in Covid-19 cases in some tourist destinations, and authorities said they focused on those spots.
The penalties were for unauthorized parties either in in a public space or on private property. Individual sanctions were given to for people who took part in the events, and people were also penalized for not wearing face masks.
Outdoor restaurants were fined for not creating enough distance between tables or for seating too many people at a single table.
The extra checks were a result of patchy compliance of social distancing rules and compulsory masks. Romania’s Prime Minister Ludovic Orban says if cases don’t come down, the government will extend the state of alert later this month.
Romania tested 11,455 people in the last 24 hours for the virus, meaning that 3.63% of those tested came out positive, slightly higher percentage than Friday.
The death toll rose to 1,731 and most people who have succumbed to the virus had underlying health conditions.
There are 223 patients who are sick with the virus who are currently being treated in intensive care units.
Some 20,861 people have recovered from the virus.
Health Minister Nelu Tataru said Friday that the state of alert may be extended after July 15 due to the spike.
He said the coronavirus transmission rate increased from around 0.6-0.7 to 1.4 in three weeks.